Former First Deputy Speaker
First Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Party
Vladimir Plahotniuc is a high-ranking member of the Democratic Party (PDM) and a wealthy businessman whose net worth estimates range from several hundread million to over a billion USD.
Vladimir Plahotniuc was born on New Years’ Day 1966 in central Moldova. He holds several degrees, including an MBA from the Technical University of Moldova (2002) and a bachelor of law degree from the University of European Studies of Moldova (2006).
While his business career has been long, two of Plahotniuc’s most important business ventures were as an executive with Petrom Moldova (a Romanian-owned oil and gas producer) from 2001 to 2011 and as Chairman of Victoriabank (the country’s leading commercial bank) from 2006 to 2011. Additionally, Plahotniuc owns Moldova’s two largest television broadcasters, Prime and TV 2 Plus.
In 2009, Plahotniuc, erstwhile member of the PCRM team, joined Marian Lupu in defecting to the Democratic Party. At first, he merely supported the party financially in the same manner he had supported the PCRM. Then, he was elected to parliament in late 2010. He became first deputy speaker, but then resigned when faced with an imminent dismissal at the height of the Huntingate scandal, only to leave Parliament altogether in October 2013.
Critics accuse Plahotniuc of corruption on a grand scale, and of using his connections with Voronin and the communist party to enrich himself in the 2000s. Critics say that he now employs the tremendous resources under his control to further grow his fortune and strengthen his political position. Nevertheless, no substantial evidence of criminality has ever been presented against Plahotniuc.
It is not clear whether Plahotniuc aspires to higher political office. However, his current wealth, position, and influence with Moldova’s business, media, and government make Plahotniuc a major, perhaps the chief, “decision maker” in Moldova. Immediately after the Strelet government confirmation vote on July 30, 2015 Plahotniuc left parliament for the second time, citing personal reasons. Whereas, following Filat’s arrest on October 15, 2015, Plahotniuc announced that he suspended his membership in the Democratic party. This, however, does not undermine his position as “chief decision maker”, to the contrary, following Filat’s arrest, he becomes the only major powerhouse in the country.